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2009-07-17 Apocalypse at 23:59 + miscellany

posted Jul 16, 2009, 7:01 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Jul 17, 2009, 6:59 AM by Eddie Woo ]

Update: 00:02 AEST

The apocalypse (Greek for "lifting of the veil") comes in 24 hours minus a few minutes. Between now and then, I need to:
  • Write case studies
  • Write critique
  • Check the senior science part of my portfolio
  • Update repository
  • Remove "actively updated" text
  • Write about "Major project as a problem" (DSS)
  • Check maths paper archive

Update: 01:10 AEST

In the support documentation for my multimedia project, I made a reference to the fact that text, audio, and video are all suitable mediums for conversations and/or interviews. Joey, via the Windows Live Messenger instant messaging service, indirectly suggested to me that this may be an instance of the social and ethical issue of speed vs. sincerity, although I personally made the connection myself.

(12:44:23 AM) Blair: print to pdf, joey
(12:44:23 AM) 
Blair: :D
(12:44:36 AM) Joey:
um. yes.
(12:44:39 AM) Joey:
(12:44:44 AM) Joey:
& i'm an IT student. -_-"
(12:47:34 AM) 
Blair: i know you are ._.
(12:47:38 AM) 
Blair: i'm sorry if i sounded patronising
(12:47:46 AM) Joey:
(12:47:47 AM) Joey:
it's okay :D
(12:48:12 AM) Joey:
(issues with communications systems - speed vs. sincerity? *rant*)
(12:48:59 AM) Joey:
& then there was something about impersonal contact, not being able to communicate by body language which is apparently about 80% of our communication, etc.
(12:50:13 AM) 
Blair: funny that you should mention that
(12:50:18 AM) 
Blair: i just wrote
(12:50:18 AM) 
Blair: N.B. All the interviews mentioned in the "audio - interviews" section above could also be recorded on video. Audio adds a layer of complexity above text, in that different tones of voice (sarcasm, happiness, sadness, et cetera) can express what mere words (text) cannot do as naturally; similarly, video adds another layer of complexity above audio, in that body language can express what sound alone cannot. The decision of which medium to use depends on the context, and whether or not the communicator believes tones of voice and body language will help to express the desired message more effectively.

The irony of this situation is an amusing manifestation of the remarkable relevance of the IPT course in today's society.

Furthermore, I have removed the text about the maths faculty website being "actively developed", as development of the site may not be quite so active after 23:59 tonight.

Update: 01:52 AEST

It appears that hypertext links from Woo Random Files to certain parts of the JRAHS intranet (specifically, my two multimedia products) malfunction when the user is not logged in (as experienced on Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 6.0; en-US; rv:1.9.1) Gecko/20090624 Firefox/3.5). The problem is that, instead of prompting the user to log in, the hypertext altered as if the page was on Woo Random Files instead of Intranet Faculties. I have therefore used TinyURL to create indirect links to the relevant pages.

I have just finished checking the Senior Science part of my portfolio; specifically, Biology course information. I considered the idea of putting a decorative image on the Biology page, but ultimately decided against such a design decision, as it would be too radically different from the pages for Chemistry and Physics.

I did, however, make the page neater by increasing font size for the navigation boxes, and by making the boxes the same size. I will now go to sleep for the next eight hours.

Update: 12:51 AEST

I woke up a little later than I had intended. I after an extremely quick breakfast, I went to write my case studies for Component 3B.

Update: 15:31 AEST

I have finished two of my three case studies. I intended to change the topic of the third case study yet again, from Bad Wolf Radio podcast to the Creative Commons website, because while the Bad Wolf Radio podcast was an extremely effective use of the audio medium, there is a technicality problem in that it is technically not professionally produced.

In the interests of occupation health, safety, and ergonomics, I will now take a half-hour break from my IPT project.

Update: 17:16 AEST

I have finished all three case studies, and updated the project register repository. I found that some links were no longer self-updating as I had foolishly believed them to be; these were fixed. Furthermore, I have decided to emphasise certain entries in my project register repository, e.g. those that discuss information processes.

Update: 18:53 AEST

I have finished my "Major project as a problem" post, and added a link to it on the top of my project register.

Update: 20:37 AEST

I have finished some last-minute fixes for the final release of the maths faculty site.

Past papers (converted to PDF/A and repackaged)

A number of senior past papers have been converted to PDF/A and repackaged; here is a list of affected files:

2009-07-17  07:04 PM           105,551 yr11_2u_hy_2009.pdf
2009-07-17  07:05 PM            81,197 yr11_2u_hy_2009_solns.pdf
2009-07-17  07:05 PM         3,448,915
2009-07-17  07:08 PM            50,022 yr11_3u_hy_2009.pdf
2009-07-17  07:08 PM            92,994 yr11_3u_hy_2009_solns.pdf
2009-07-17  07:09 PM         8,463,306
2009-07-17  07:11 PM         1,038,238 yr12_2u_t2_2008.pdf
2009-07-17  07:12 PM            42,878 yr12_2u_t2_2009.pdf
2009-07-17  07:14 PM            20,717
2009-07-17  07:15 PM           773,181 yr12_3u_t2_2004.pdf
2009-07-17  07:15 PM         1,234,852 yr12_3u_t2_2004_solns.pdf
2009-07-17  07:15 PM         1,921,727 yr12_3u_t2_2008_solns.pdf
2009-07-17  07:16 PM            61,275 yr12_3u_t2_2009.pdf
2009-07-17  07:16 PM         2,786,287 yr12_3u_t2_2009_solns.pdf
2009-07-17  07:16 PM         8,389,323
2009-07-17  07:22 PM           748,452 yr12_4u_t2_2004.pdf
2009-07-17  07:23 PM         1,586,576 yr12_4u_t2_2004_solns.pdf
2009-07-17  07:23 PM         2,040,089 yr12_4u_t2_2009_solns.pdf
2009-07-17  07:23 PM         8,931,031

Generated using dir "D:\00blair-ext\mathsfac" > D:\00blair-ext\mathsfac\dir.txt

I also added the following text to the top of every past paper archive (Juniors and Seniors):

Download the PDF files individually, or download the PDF package. A DOC package (with some DOC source files) has also been provided.

Navigation boxes (design decisions)

I altered the design of the navigation boxes. The junior and senior course resource boxes have items sorted in alphabetical order and 10pt font size, because:
  • Alphabetical order is the expectation for most people;
  • 10pt font size for aesthetic appeal (there is enough space for 10pt text)
The main site navigation box has items sorted into two categories ("Learning resources" and "Mathematics faculty") and default font size, because:
  • People accessing the site will usually already know what they are looking for;
  • Default font size for aesthetic appeal (there is not enough space for 10pt text)
Finally, the HTML code for bullet points in navigation has been changed to:

<font style="color: rgb(102, 102, 102);">●&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</font>

Program outlines

I downloaded, renamed (according to naming convention), converted to PDF/A, and re-uploaded (with both PDF and DOC versions) all 2009 program outlines only, because older program outlines are unlikely to be used by students. I also did this for the "Geometry Theorums and Proofs" document, and changed the links on the Junior and Senior course navigation boxes to a PDF/A version of this document.

Update: 21:41 AEST

Via Windows Live Messenger Instant Messaging service, I have agreed to critique Christine's multimedia production. Christine explained that it is not on the site because it is anticipated that Mr. Woo will help her embed it onto the page.

Update: 23:35 AEST

I have finished my critique of Christine's multimedia system, and have hence effectively finished my major project.

Closing remarks

On 2008-12-08, I, along with my fellow apocalipticDESIGN members, started on a journey to develop faculty sites on an intranet that would engage student learning, empower better teaching practice, and enrich school life. These were ambitious goals, but I believe that, after a total of 32 weeks, I achieved these goals with my portfolio and multimedia projects, and I am confident that the other members of the team can say that with pride and dignity as well.

In my Project Prospectus, I had declared that,

"... when a large collection of materials is made easily accessible, students will spend less time gathering information and more time absorbing knowledge. When this is achieved, we can say that the system has engaged student learning."

And what a large collection of materials it is indeed. In the maths faculty past paper archive alone, there are literally hundreds of files. Never again will students need to pester their teachers for past papers, as there will always be something for them to practice with on the website that my fellow apocalipticDESIGN team members and I have helped to create.

Furthermore, in my Project Prospectus, I had declared that,

"...if students are able to spend more time learning and less time gathering the material with which they learn, they would perform better academically, giving them the opportunity to spend more time on extra-curricular activities, and hence enriching school life."

I cannot provide any statistics for how much time students are spending on extra-curricular activities, but I can certainly say that my multimedia system will enrich school life. Students and teachers alike will be presented with the most unusual perspective of the Cameron block that they will have experienced, with my Cameron block virtual tour.

And finally, I had declared that,

"The system would make it easier and much more useful for students and teachers to collaborate, and for students to approach teachers to clarify any doubtful points in their Maths-related courses and activities, hence enhancing the level of communication between students and teachers, and empowering much better teaching practice."

While I cannot prove that communications between students and teachers has improved, I can certainly say that teachers are now taking advantage of the intranet to empower their teaching practices. My own teacher, Mr. Alder, made a point of letting us know, in our very first maths lesson of the year, that resources will be available on the intranet for anyone who goes looking for them.

The development of this project has been an amazing learning experience, and the skills that
my fellow apocalipticDESIGN team members and I have developed will help us throughout our education and beyond. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr. Woo for creating such a vibrant and relevant project for us to complete.